I have known Max Stanley for ten years in various roles including coach, fan, and friend. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him develop on and off the field into a respected member of the community and outstanding individual. In the spring, I asked Max to answer a few questions about his process in becoming the person he is today as a type of qualitative study of the developmental process in America in 2018. Max had some great answers.
- How long have you been playing soccer, what club do you play for, what high school do you play for and what are your future plans with soccer participation?
I started with Tormenta FC at age 7 when we were called Storm Soccer Academy and have trained 5 days a week for almost 10 years (for 5 of those years, I trained 2 mornings a week at 5:30am for 2 hours before going to school) and played games most weekends. In addition, I have played for Islands High School for the past 2 years, and my goal is to play college soccer in California, earn my degree and continue playing professionally.
- What is your average day and week like as far as attending school, home life, and soccer practice/games? What is your free time situation like outside of school hours?
Every day, I awake at 6:15am to prepare for school, practice my Classical piano and eat breakfast with my family before leaving at 7:00am. I attend school daily from 7:30am to 1:00pm as I participate in a hybrid program whereby I take 75% of my classes at the school and 25% of my classes online from home. I selected this program due to my soccer schedule as it allows me to complete my homework and other course work from 1:00pm to 5:15pm before driving 50 minutes to Hardeeville, SC for our nightly session from 6:30-8:30. I typically arrive home from practice around 9:15pm, eat dinner, shower, pack for the next day and am in bed by 10:00pm.
Due to our league schedule, I am typically on the road every weekend for games and use this time to complete my online coursework while in the car as the average trip is at least 3 hours each way. During the weekends and games, I spend time with my family and teammates mainly; our family always travels together for my brother’s or my games and considers these weekends as quality time together. Thus, any free time I have is on the weekends with my family and teammates.
- If you could change one thing about your average week, what would it be?
Naturally, the one thing I would change would be the amount of free time during the week; I would like more time to hang out with my school friends as I hardly ever see them outside of school.
- Who is your favorite professional team and player and have you been able to watch them in person? Explain what that situation was like.
My favorite team is Real Madrid, with my favorite player being Sergio Ramos! I have seen Real Madrid and Ramos play twice, once at Camp Nou in Barcelona when they played Barcelona for the Super Cup Final and a second time at their home stadium, Santiago Bernabeu. On both occasions, I was vacationing with my family (as we typically take vacations to watch games overseas), and the experience was surreal; the players are larger than life as they are right in front of you, full of energy and extremely competitive. The stadiums are so alive with fans who absolutely love and admire the sport; in fact, when Real Madrid played Barcelona, there were over 99,000 fans at that game! I have to say there is nothing like watching professional soccer in Europe.
- What is your favorite part about participating in soccer?
First of all, I love the game! Playing soccer allows me to stay in shape (while doing what I love), be competitive and have fun with teammates and friends.
- What do you like to do outside of soccer? What are some of your hobbies and when do you fit them in between soccer and school?
When I have the opportunity and time, I love to travel, whether it’s to visit different countries around the world, watch soccer games, surf in Florida or California and/or snowboard out west. I typically have to work my trips in and around my soccer schedule during holidays and the summer.
As for other hobbies, I like to run as I participate in Cross Country for my school as it helps me stay in shape. I usually have to run before a soccer practice which means I have to postpone some of my schoolwork to the weekends. Additionally, whenever I can, I like to hang out with my younger brother and family; we’ll play board games, cards, ride bikes/skateboards and more.
I also work in the spring and summer in-between my own games as a referee on the weekends and for a chair rental company at the beach.
- Anything else you would like to tell us about your youth and high school soccer experience?
Participating in youth and high school soccer has helped me to grow as a leader, teammate and competitive athlete. In addition, it has provided an environment to develop social and bonding skills with others and overall has led to some of the best experiences in my life.
Thanks so much Max!!! I look forward to seeing and hearing about your future successes!!!
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